University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

Information, with historical and statistical statements, relative to the different tribes and their agencies,   pp. 23-[84] PDF (29.5 MB)


Page 77

REPORT OF THE       COMMISSIONER      OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.      77 
upon any subiject relating to the administration of Indian affairs in 
Washington Territory and Oregon. In response to such request I am 
happy to lay before the honorable Secretary the following correspond- 
ence: 
BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS, 
Washington, D. C., December 1, 1874. 
SIR: By direction of the board of Indian Commissioners I have the honor to
inclose, 
for your information and such action as you may deeii advisable relative
thereto, 
a copy of the special report of Commissioners Lang and Smith, of this board,
of a recent 
visit by them to the Indian reservations in Washington Territory west of
the Cascade 
Mountains, and to state that the recommendations contained in the report
received 
the approval of the board. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
F. H SMITH, 
,ecretary. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 20, 1874. 
The undersigned members of the board of commissioners submit the following
special 
report of a visit made by them during the month of October ultimo to the
various 
Indian reservations in Washington Territory west of the Cascade Mountains.
While in Portland, Oregon, in connection with the purchase of goods for the
Indian 
service, a communication was received from the Indian Department, at Washington,
requesting a report as to whether it was advisable to allot lands in severalty
to the 
Indians upon reservations in that Territory. 
It became known to us from many sources of information that the question
of consoli- 
dating the Indians upon a smaller number of reservations had long been under
con- 
sideration; and it appeared essential that a determination of this question
should first 
be made, in order to render any such allotment of lands to individual Indians
perma- 
nent in its character, and to allay the fears, prevailing among all the Indians
in this 
locality, that if houses were built, lands cultivated, and homes established
by them, a 
new change of policy might require their removal to other localities, and
the reward 
of their labor be reaped by other parties. 
The commissioners considered the question one of sufficient magnitude to
justify 
them in requesting the co-operation and advice of the United States Indian
inspector 
a-signed to that district, General Vandever, and of the general commanding
the mili- 
tary department of the Columbia, General 0. 0. Howard, and took the liberty
of form- 
ally inviting these gentlemen to co-operate with them in the investigation
to be made. 
All the reservations referred to were visited by members of the commission,
and the 
joint visitation by all the parties named was extended sufficiently to enable
each to 
form an intelligent judgment in respect to the conclusion reached. 
The Indians under the care of the Government in the section of Washington
Terri- 
tory named are located upon twelve reservations, ten of which are within
the vicinity 
of Puget Sound and two upon the Pacific coast. Those upon the Puyallup, Nisqually,
Chehalis, and Squaxin reservations are under the care of Agent Gibson, whose
head- 
quarters are in the city of Olympia. The Tulalip, Port Madison, Swinomnish,
and 
Lummi reservations are assigned to Agent Chirouse. 
The S'Kokomish reservation, in charge of Agent Eells, is located at the head
of Hood's 
Canal, on Puget Sound. The Neah Bay reservation, in charge of Agent Huntington,
is 
located at the janction of the Straits of Fuca and the Pacific Ocean, and
the Quin- 
aielt reservation, in charge of Agent Henry, upon the Pacific coast, about
sixty miles 
south of Neah Bay. 
PUYALLUP, ETC., AGENCY. 
One member of the commission, F. H. Smith, inspected personally the reservation
belonging to the first agency named, except the Chehalis, in the month of
April last, 
anld the report made by him to the Indian Department, setting forth the condition
of 
the Indians upon the Puyallup, Nisqually, Sqnaxin, and Muckleshoot reservations
is 
appended to this report, and referred to for a statement of the facts relative
thereto. 
The Chehalis reservation was visited by General Vandever, who reports the
Indians 
discouraged in consequence of want of care and assistance in their agricultural
pur- 
suits, and the reports continually reaching them of the probability of their
ultimate 
removal fromi the reservation. 
The commissioners visited the S'Kokomnish reservation, and made as full an
inspec- 
tion of the valley of the S'Kokomish River, outside of the reservation, as
the time at 
their disposal would permit. The valley for the most part is heavily timbered
with 
fir and cedar. A sufficient area of rich alluvial soil, however, exists along
the river- 
bottom to supply the number of Indians now upon the reservations named with
ample 


Go up to Top of Page